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Gold is the only focus for York City Rowing Club Olympian Tom Ransley
THE push for Olympic gold is all-consuming for York City Rowing Club’s Tom Ransley.
The 26-year-old University of York graduate has secured a seat in Great Britain’s eights crew for the London 2012 regatta, which gets under way at Eton Dorney on Saturday, July 28.
The third and final World Cup regatta in Munich this weekend is the last dress rehearsal for all of the GB Rowing Team’s athletes.
Ransley is refusing to be carried away by the high of clinching selection, preferring instead to concentrate on the ultimate goal of Olympic gold.
“It’s excellent to have achieved Olympic selection and to receive such a positive reaction from friends and family after the official announcement,” said Ransley.
“It’s a key step along the way towards reaching my goal.
“I’m sure there will be more time to reflect on it all at a later date, but right now there is still a pressing commitment to fulfil our potential and perform at the Games.
“Currently that is what consumes my entire focus.
“Selection means a lot, but the announcement was really something that just fitted in among our primary task of maximising boat speed before the Olympic racing begins.”
The eights crew are rated as 7-2 second favourites for gold at London 2012 behind reigning world champions Germany, who are 4-1 on with William Hill.
Great Britain have been silver medallists in the Germans’ slipstream at the last two world championships, as well as the first two World Cups this year.
There were signs that the gap was closing in Lucerne last month and Ransley said: “We are still hunting for the elusive gold, but I think we’re on the right track to get it.”
That quest continues in Munich today with the heats in the closing World Cup regatta, before the final is held on Sunday.
Ransley insisted beating Germany was not becoming an obsession for the GB crew.
“Ultimately, there are a lot of good crews,” he said. “You are not trying to beat Germany, you are trying to win the Olympics.
“You are trying to maximise boat speed, which we have been doing over months and years, and this World Cup series.
“Germany are the guys who have won everything or most things over the last Olympiad so you have got to take them into account.
“But you can go too far thinking about them and then end up getting beaten by someone else. We don’t want that to happen.”
After Sunday’s final, Ransley will be making a rapid return to England as he is due to take part in the Olympic torch relay in Pickering on Monday.
He said: “It will be awesome to play a part in it.
“You can get blinkered when you are 100 per cent focused on training, so it will be good to see how the excitement is building throughout the country.
“It is a great way of showing that the Olympics is different to all other events, and how it reaches a much wider audience.
“It is also great to come back to Yorkshire, where it all started for me.”